Episode 2: What Works for the Consumer?, with Kelly Blazosky
Kelly Blazosky is President of Oneida County Tourism in Central New York since 2009. She is also Chair of the Central New York Vacation Region. Previously, she was the Executive Director of the Marietta Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau in Marietta, Ohio. Kelly holds a degree in Business Administration and Organizational Management from Ohio Valley University.
In her current role, Kelly has been closely involved in developing a region-wide marketing initiative that promotes the region’s growing craft beverage assets. Brew Central launched in 2013 and targets travelers interested in beer, hard cider, wine, craft pubs and spirits through a website, social media, online video and advertising campaign.
The collaborative campaign highlights more than 50 breweries, cideries, pubs, distilleries and wineries located in Broome, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Otsego and Schoharie counties in the Central NY region. Kelly has been successful in receiving marketing grants through the NYS Market NY program for Brew Central and continues to build on the program. She attributes part of that success in aligning her programs with the economic development strategies of the state and of the regional economic development councils. In 2014, The U.S. Travel Association Destinations Council recognized the Central New York Vacation Region’s Brew Central initiative as the best “Branding and Integrated Marketing Campaign” in the country for the under $1 million budget category.
What you’ll learn about in this episode:
- The challenges in selling a region that doesn’t have an iconic attribute
- How Brew Central came to be
- How Kelly and her partners measure the success of their campaigns
- How 10 counties come together to participate in consumer trade shows
- How Kelly’s engaged with the craft beverage industry
- The Cheers Network that Kelly created
- Working with competition to make something that works for the consumer
- The power of a can-do attitude and not letting anything get in your way
- Building relationships to tear down roadblocks
- How Kelly connects her region to other regions to attract an international audience
- What’s coming up in the future